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How are disturbed characters present in 'Salome' and 'Havisham'?

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  • Essay length: 892 words
  • Submitted: 20/02/2013
  • Awarding body: Not known/Not applicable
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GCSE Carol Ann Duffy

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How are disturbed characters presented in âSalomeâ and âHavishamâ?

In Carol Ann Duffyâs poems, âSalomeâ and â Havishamâ aggression and violence towards men is an ever-present theme. Each poem is spoken in the narrative voice of the ladies (whom the poems are named after), who throughout express signs of mental instability. Bitterness and hatred towards men is shown, both in words and in actions. Havisham constantly voices her murderous thoughts but never actually commits murder however Salome thinks murderous thoughts and does commit murder. The two ladies also have a distinguished characteristic in the fact Havisham shuns men and society, not wanting to go near âman-kindâ with a barge pole whereas Salome seeks men for revenge. In both poems Duffy has had influences from characters portrayed in other peoples text. It is apparent that Duffy has used Charles Dickensâ Havisham from great expectations to write a poetic monologue as well as extrapolating references from the story of biblical Salome to form her modern day character. Both characters show signs of being extremely disturbed personalities.

From the first stanza we begin to get an idea of Salomeâs character. She proves herself to be very promiscuous, â

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